Projects on The Back Burner

Lately, I have been struggling to write, either on here or work on my manuscript. I even had a military paper I was working on with Team Chief that somehow turned into two professional articles that ended up falling off the rails at the end because I didn’t have the bandwidth to work my part of the argument. We managed to publish the original, shorter, and more narrowly scoped paper yesterday on a professional association blog. I think some people read it. I’ll take that as a win. Yay.

A guarantee of 20 minutes of uninterrupted writing time a day does not mean I can work on my manuscript, for example, because 20 minutes is not an absolute number in terms of writing time. Some projects I can jump into, others need a short warm-up before I can jump in, and one needs a major warm-up before I can jump in. I will now use a running analogy.

In a runner’s world, life cycles around races and race seasons. Training consists of speed days, tempo days, distance days, and easy days. Speed and tempo days require at least a two-mile warm-up. Distance days don’t need warming up so long as the pace is comfortable, and easy days are short and slow by definition. Depending on your mileage goal, speed, tempo, and distance days can take two-three hours. Easy days take less time and less mental energy. All components count and are necessary to a well balanced training regime that will get you where you want to go, without injury.

Writing is like this. Blogging is the “easy day” activity. Other projects like professional papers and novels are the big race performances, broken down into bits that require a warm-up, and 20 minutes isn’t going to cut it. It takes me 15 minutes just to remember where I left off on my big projects! I hate having stuff on the back burner. It frustrates me to start over on things every day with very little forward progress. Until remote school is over, projects requiring a warm-up will have to wait. And I hope they don’t die in the process.

In Writing as in Life, Let Your Subconcious Do The Work

I have officially been edged out of my house and have made a little office for myself in the garage. The contractors have made their way from the third floor, all the way to the first floor of my house, working their way down and repainting the entire thing along the way. Eventually, they will blow out the garage, and I will be stuck on my front lawn as I supervise the job and keep them moving along. We’ve been under construction in this house for most of the time we’ve lived here, thanks to the hurricane, so I know I need to stick around while the work gets done.


How to Plan Your Writing Projects

Visiting with J this week, it occurred to me that it’s fun to visit with friends and family around shared interests via apps. It’s something different from the usual catching up over the phone, which sometimes feels like a run-down of “this is what I’ve been doing since the last time we talked,” rather than a fluid conversation. Sadly, it can be quite hard to remember the details of where exactly a friend is in his/her life journey. But finding a shared interest is easy. And fun. J is big into interior design and decorating, so we talked about Pinterest.


To be Happy is to be Productive

Penny and I journeyed back from our trip to San Antonio this afternoon. While I’m glad we made the trek out to see my friend J, I’m dismayed about the inevitable second Coronavirus wave about to crash. The news today is not promising. The barefaced people walking around the Buc-ee’s gas station store today was not a good sign. And I’m mentally preparing myself for when the schools finally announce that the 2020-2021 school year will be in part, if not completely, virtual.


Coronavirus Part 2, Day 47- On Being In The Right Position

On the lake.

Every room has a main character.

Penny, referring to the dog, sunflower, and John Wayne themed decor in our rental cabin.

Several years ago when I was first leaving the military, I started searching for corporate jobs. I looked at a slew of roles with the ambiguous job title of “project manager”, and other Junior Military Officer transition programs. I looked at one program at Macy’s, which was a rotational program for recent graduates. After reading one job description, Steve did me a favor by saying, “This program is not for you, Diana. It sounds like you’ll be folding pants, and you won’t do well if you’re just folding pants.”